The Rise and Fall of Online Dating Services
Although the online dating format we are conversant with appeared in 1995 with the launch of Match.com, it took off much later in 2012. The creation of the Tinder application set the trend for web dating in a new format for a very long time. Subsequently, Badoo, Bumble, and many other dating applications became more active and remained popular to this day.
Indeed, after 2012, the golden age of online dating came. New dating applications appeared almost every month, and the developers sought to offer their users a unique experience and expanded the functionality of their services in every possible way. However, over time, the hype around dating apps began to subside. Endless swipes, empty texting, unsuccessful attempts to make a truly promising acquaintance; all these turned out to be an extremely exhausting process that simply takes a lot of time.
How online dating services began to lose popularity, but a replacement was quickly found
In 2014-2015, a decline in the activity of the audience of dating applications was observed. Certainly, many used them rather “by inertia,” and new users were periodically registered, but the former popularity remained in the past.
At the same time, another online dating format took off: video chats like Omegle. Although the Omegle site and many of its alternatives had existed for more than a year at that time, interest in them began to grow precisely during the decline in the popularity of classic dating apps.
Also, when the Covind-19 pandemic reached its peak in 2020, video chats were a huge competition for classic dating. In particular, we are talking about the following platforms:
This is one of the first video chats in history which was launched in the spring of 2009. There are not so many settings for searching for interlocutors: language and a list of interests. You can also search for interlocutors among students of your university using a special section. Otherwise, this is the simplest video chat, which does not have a mobile application.
This is a mobile video chat that combines several useful features: random Chatroulette, online streams, the ability to view profiles of other participants, and communication in text or video chat. To some, Azar may seem a little overloaded, but to others, on the contrary, it is to their liking.
This is a convenient alternative to Omegle for men who want to meet and chat exclusively with ladies. The gender filter here is never wrong and always connects you with the opposite gender. Videochatomegle.com has a handy built-in message translator, flexible settings for searching for interlocutors, the ability to add users to “Friends,” and much more. It has a free trial period as well.
This is a simple video chat with a minimal set of features. There is no gender filter here, as well as search by interests, or other additional settings. However, there are online mini-games and a built-in 18+ video streaming platform. Bazoocam is suitable for those who do not pursue extensive functionality and are ready to completely trust chance.
This is another minimalistic Omegle alternative with a simple gender filter. At the same time, you can choose the option “Man” or “Woman,” and “Couple,” if this format of dating is of interest to you. Also, Chathub offers a language filter. There is no mobile application for video chat. Therefore, you will have to use the web version, which is not always convenient.
What developers of online dating services should implement to make them popular again
First of all, it is necessary to effectively deal with common problems that are typical for most dating sites and applications:
- Ghosting: This is the abrupt and unexpected ending of a relationship or communication without any explanation.
- Catfishing: this is a kind of deception on the Web in which a person creates a completely fictional person that does not correspond to reality.
- Bad moderation: this is the lack of a normal support service, incorrect operation of moderation algorithms, and the like.
- Unverified data in profiles: this implies the absence of elementary checks of information that users post in their accounts.
Another serious problem of many dating sites and applications is the lack of privacy and security of personal data. Developers always say that their users’ data is under reliable protection. However, in practice, news pops up on the Web every time stating that not everything is so smooth. For example, in 2017, it became known that almost all dating applications allow you to track the location of users. The exceptions are Bumble, OK Cupid, and Badoo. Also, users of Tinder, Mamba, Zoosk, Happn, WeChat, and Paktor may be attacked to reveal their actual location and other confidential information.
In 2020, it became known that the Tinder and Grindr apps were actively leaking users’ personal data to a third party. We are talking about geolocation, IP addresses, data on the age, and gender of a person.
On the contrary, the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) analyzed 10 popular dating applications and found that there is not a single service that fully meets the confidentiality and security requirements that users expect from them.
A few words about the lack of new solutions
If you look at the top dating sites and apps, it becomes obvious that they are very similar. Truly, there are differences and some unique features, nonetheless, this does not change the rules of the game. Additionally, the difference between the conditional Tinder, Bumble, and Grindr is not so significant.
We expect that in the future one of the developers will offer something really new. Perhaps, these will be new features related to artificial intelligence technologies, VR and AR, or even full-fledged metaverses which have been talked about by a lot of people recently, including the developers of Tinder. In 2022, they seem to have temporarily abandoned the idea of creating their metaverse due to serious financial risks.
It is likely that in the near future, we will see more ups and downs in online dating services. This is an absolutely natural process that has been going on for the second decade. Just like the coronavirus pandemic has shown, the popularity of online dating can be affected by the most unforeseen factors that are physically impossible to predict.
Is it worth continuing to use dating sites and apps, or is it better to completely switch to video chats?
We do not have a clear answer to this question. We recommend that you combine different formats, use alternatives, look for new ways to make new friends, and just have a good time. After all, you never know where and at what moment you will meet a truly interesting person with whom you will be ready to connect your fate. Good luck with your search!